The African Union (AU), an organisation consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa has suspended Mali following last week’s military coup – for the second time in nine months.
The first was last August following a military coup – but the country was reinstated after the heads of a civilian-led transitional government were announced.
Now that administration has been overthrown, and so once again, Mali finds itself excluded.
The AU in a statement called for a return to civilian government, saying it would not hesitate to impose sanctions and other punitive measures unless troops were urgently ordered to return to barracks.
The statement read: “Strongly urges the Malian military to urgently and unconditionally return to the barracks, and to refrain from further interference in the political processes in Mali, while calling for the creation of conducive conditions for an unimpeded, transparent and swift return to the civilian-led transition, based on the agreed transition roadmap for Mali, failing which, the Council will not hesitate to impose targeted sanctions and other punitive measures against any spoilers of the current transition;
“Calls on the Malian defence and security forces to immediately lift all restrictions on all political actors, including the house arrest of H.E. Bah N’Daw and H.E. Moctar Ouane ;
“Calls upon the transitional authorities to respect and abide by the originally stipulated 18 months transitional period and, therefore, appeals once again to the Malian people to place the supreme interests of the country and its people above all else, to remain calm and to continue to work together within the framework of the 2015 Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Mali, which emanated from the Algiers process, with the effective participation of women, the youth and Malians in the Diaspora, to resolve the current crisis, and organize free, fair and credible democratic elections on 27 February 2022.”
On Monday, leaders of the West African bloc Ecowas also suspended Mali’s membership, calling on the military government to adhere to an 18-month transition period towards presidential elections next February.
Colonel Assimi Goïta, who led the coup, was appointed transitional president by the country’s constitutional court four days ago.